The Apple of Discord is taking a break while I come up with new and
interesting stuff. In the meantime, I STRONGLY recommend you check out my
Fantasy Parody Epic, Apple Valley and my brand new 5-day a week humorous
expose of the dark underbelly of the Webcomic world, Webcomic Hell.

The State of the Comic Address 2009




March 1st is the 1 year anniversiary of the start of AoD… the “official” start was April 1st (April Fools Day), but March 1st was when the site went up and I started posting some of the test comics which would eventually become the backbone of AoD’s early days.  Given everything going on, both in the world of AoD and in my own life, this anniversiary has given me a chance to (ok,  sort of forced me to) review where things stand.

The last few months have been very hard on me (as some of you may know, I’ve been working mandatory 6 day weeks since December) and have sapped me physically, mentally, emotionally, and creatively.  I take the whole “on time, no unscheduled hiatuses” thing very seriously, but lately I’ve been frequently late on my updates on Mondays (Sunday being the only day I get to sleep in) and I’ve had to use up all the backlog of already done comics I had to make deadlines… including using more than a few comics I didn’t think were “good enough”  and was hoping to improve before I posted them.  Add to that the “24-Hour Comic” debacle that ran through most of November… and it was not a good a particularly good winter.

The structure of AoD has also changed… I’ve deviated away from the random, fun parody-comics or the poinant dark socio-political commentary comics and have fallen into using my staple characters to act out scenes that are more approriate in a sitcom than they are a random chaos-engine of a webcomic like AoD was created to be. 

While the evolution of Art, Leaf, Horn, Dr Hubris, and the others was always my intent, having comics that are reduced to 2 solid weeks of Art complaining about pop culture was not.  Meanwhile, some of my other characters whom I love to draw and write about, like Gayzilla, The Archer, Sir Vivor, Steve (the Coma Guy), and The Apple itself have all-but-vanished from the pages, appearing only when convenient or a joke calls for them.

I became overly aware of this when I was reviewing my comics to prep some of them for print (yes, that’s right, I’m going to have some merch soon).  Since then, I’ve been trying to come up with some better “material”… thus the Peanuts and Dora comics recently, the return of Gayzilla, and the recent rash of Steve appearing in comics.  I’ve also been trying to integrate my “cast” members with some of the more bizarre pop culture references (Horn and Doyle meeting Batman, Art and Steve discussing the downfall of Teddy Ruxpin)… so hopefully we’ll continue to see a revival of some of the elements which once made AoD, as one reviewer once commented “a hysterical gem of a comic taking the piss out of… gag-a-day wannabe Sunday Funnies”.  That’s my home, and it’s time I went back to it.

At the end of March I’m taking a week long driving vacation, and while I’m away I probably won’t have a lot of time to draw.  Hopefully it’ll recharge my creative batteries.  In addition to that, I’ve got Penguicon at the end of April.  That’s going to be a lot of fun, but it’s also going to siphon some of my comic-making power as I get ready for it.

Here’s the long and the short of things…  For the next 2-3 months, AoD is going to drop back down to it’s original 2 days a week.  At the end of this time, I’ll look again at how things are doing and re-evaluate.  The comic itself will update on Mondays and Fridays…  I’ll still try to put something up Wednesdays, but the when, if, and overall quality of it may vary.  It may be sketches, it may be shirt designs, it might be a wallpaper download… whatever it is, more likely than not, it’ll be something good, but something that requires a lot less effort. 

Hopefully this will give me a chance to build up a backlog again, as well as to finish some of the special side projects that I’ve been doing, and maybe even to make better comics.

Maybe.

As a footnote, I wanted to thank everyone who’s made the last year such a blast… I couldn’t… no, more than that… I wouldn’t have done this without all your help.  I’d specifically like to thank a few people… My wife for being overly understanding of this whole mess, Bufko and Speear, for having faith in me starting out, Poe and Impy for reassuring me I’m not doing nearly as bad as I often think I am, Marco for making me feel [i]nsignificant, Onyx and Tprio for showing how far someone can go if they just keep at it and be good to their readers, J Gray, Tiana, and the rest of the Misfits for abducting me, Defective Candy for letting me mentor (I guess you’d call it that) you and occasionally steal your character, Frumph for pushing me out of my comfort zone, Bengo for being the stat-happy little resource that he is, Hogan and the Dragoneers for facilitating my crossover-happy sprees, Jason, Fes and Kez for being generally awesome, and… er… anyone else that I’ve neglected to mention, for doing whatever it is you do.

2 Comments

  • WE ABDUCTED YOU AHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! (runs off screaming and flailing with Kallisti in tow)

    Yeah, I need some sleep.

    If it's any consolation, I liked the 24 hour comics series. It just maybe isn't so appropriate in your archives. =(

  • The problem with that is if I removed the 24 hour comic, there'd be a month-long gap in the archive. And it is canon. Mostly, anyway. I wasn't sure if I was leaving it as canon, but the Hubris/Ardra crossover comic featured Jenny too, so it's more-or-less in there for good now.

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